Fetal Echocardiography Scan

A fetal echocardiography scan is a specialized ultrasound test to examine an unborn baby's heart. It provides detailed information about the structure and function of the fetal heart, which can be used to detect any congenital or acquired anomalies. Experienced professionals routinely perform this procedure in a safe and comfortable environment, allowing parents peace of mind as they await their child's arrival.

What is a fetal echocardiography scan?

A fetal echocardiography scan is an ultrasound test that assesses the structure and function of the fetal heart. It helps diagnose abnormalities in the fetus, such as a hole in the heart or narrowing of the valves. The test is performed after 18 weeks of gestation, usually with a transabdominal ultrasound probe. It produces real-time images that can be used to measure and assess cardiac activity, heart chambers, valves, blood vessels, and other structures. The scan provides invaluable information about cardiac development and fetal well-being, helping healthcare professionals make informed care decisions during pregnancy.

What are the different types of fetal echocardiography scans?

There are various types of fetal echocardiography scans. The main type is a fetal echocardiogram, which uses ultrasound to create images of the baby's heart. Other types include Doppler echocardiography, which measures blood flow and movement through the heart; transesophageal echocardiography, which looks at the heart from behind the esophagus; and fetal magnetic resonance imaging, which uses magnetic resonance imaging to create detailed images of the fetal heart.

When should one see a doctor for a fetal echocardiography scan?

A fetal echocardiography scan should be arranged with a doctor as soon as possible if the mother has risk factors that could indicate a cardiac abnormality in the baby. These include pre-existing maternal medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension; a family history of congenital heart disease; exposure to certain medications or toxins during pregnancy; inconsistent fetal growth on ultrasound scans; and an abnormal result from earlier antenatal screening tests. It is also recommended for mothers carrying twins if one twin has died.

What are the treatment options for a fetal echocardiography scan?

Fetal echocardiography scan treatment options include amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling (CVS), and cell-free fetal DNA testing. Amniocentesis is a procedure that involves taking a sample of the amniotic fluid from the mother’s uterus. CVS involves taking a sample of cells from the placenta. Cell-free fetal DNA testing uses a blood sample from the mother to detect chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus. Other treatments may be offered depending on individual cases, including intrauterine transfusions, open fetal surgery, and laser ablation.

How can one prevent fetal echocardiography scanning?

A fetal echocardiography scan cannot be prevented. However, several strategies can be employed to reduce the risk of any medical complications. Before the scan, pregnant women should discuss any existing medical conditions with their doctor and ensure that any medications they take are safe during pregnancy. Mothers should maintain good hydration during the scan and avoid strenuous physical activity for 24 hours after the procedure. Fetal echocardiography scans are generally considered safe, so following these simple guidelines should ensure a successful outcome.


Fetal echocardiography is a safe, non-invasive procedure that helps doctors diagnose and assess the health of a baby's heart while still in the womb. The ultrasound technology in this scan allows for a detailed look at the structure and function of the developing baby's heart and any potential problems. This procedure can help detect congenital heart defects, allowing for timely treatment or management after birth. Fetal echocardiography has been an invaluable tool for helping to improve fetal cardiology outcomes and provide more detailed information about the health of an unborn child.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Bengaluru - Brookefield. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. What is a fetal echocardiography scan?

A fetal echocardiography scan is an ultrasound procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the heart and great vessels of the fetus.

2. How can a fetal echocardiography scan help detect congenital heart defects?

The scan allows the medical team to examine the structure of the fetal heart, identify any major defects, and assess how well the fetus's heart is functioning.

3. How accurate are fetal echocardiography scans at diagnosing heart defects?

Depending on the type of defect targeted, fetal echocardiography scans have been shown to have accuracy rates ranging from 85–100%.

4. How long does it usually take to get results from a fetal echocardiography scan?

Results from a fetal echocardiography scan are typically available within two weeks after the procedure.

5. Are there any risks associated with undergoing a fetal echocardiography scan?

There are minimal risks associated with undergoing a fetal echocardiography scan, including the risk of infection and the possibility of false positive or negative results.

Our Doctors

Book an Appointment




Pregnancy Calculator